Czech press survey - December 10

Předseda ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka v diskusním pořadu České televize Otázky Václava Moravce.

published: 10.12.2013, 07:20 | updated: 10.12.2013 07:41:55

Prague - The Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) continue to pursue the unfavourable line painted for them by the voters in the recent general election, particularly in relation to their potential government partners, mainly the ANO movement, Petr Pesek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.

Instead of making use of their advantages - the election victory, political experience and possibilities of joining forces with a greater number of parties - they have found themselves on the defensive, Pesek writes.

They will probably lose more "power" ministries in the government than what is usual for the winner, Pesek writes.

And also, as expected, CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka´s revolutionary euphoric support within the party has not last too long, and more difficult battles are still ahead of him, whether they are disputes with President Milos Zeman over individual ministers that are already taking shape, or the quite probable coalition squabbling, Pesek writes.

CSSD head Bohuslav Sobotka tries to look like a calm and productive government negotiator and he presents his successes in agreements about the coalition, but he is not heading a party whose smaller chiefs would wish a sovereign chairman, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in daily Pravo.

Or, it is a question of whether Sobotka will be more dependent on the rank and file and voters to whom he will be accountable, or on party brotherhoods in the regions, Mitrofanov writes.

He writes that it is no wonder that he wants the government that he will negotiate with ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) to be assessed by all CSSD members, by which he risks that they will not approve it, Mitrofanov writes.

But it can be assumed that he would resolutely alert the members before the vote to that the rejection of participation in the government would mean the party´s departure into opposition and an end to all hopes of being capable of fulfilling the promises given to the voters, Mitrofanov writes.

If Sobotka won support of the whole party, however, he would also account to the whole membership, not to the central executive committee in which a coalition against the chairman can always be formed in case the regional brotherhoods draw the conclusion that his policy does not suit them, Mitrofanov writes.

That is why the idea of an all-party referendum on the government is not popular in the regions, Mitrofanov writes.

A special tax for banks that the Social Democrats (CSSD) are pushing for will be popular among people whom the banks take to the cleaners, but in fact it is a most questionable step that need not have the desired effect, Petr Honzejk writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN).

The moral problem is: higher taxation of banks has been justified in Europe by the share of the banking sector in the financial crisis and the public costs of the salvation of banks, Honzejk writes.

He writes that such justification does not work in this country [where the banks did not have this problem], however.

The practical problem is: banks are waiting for further European regulations, higher demands for capital adequacy. In combination with a higher tax this can raise the prices of credits and negatively impact on the Czech economy, Honzejk writes.

The CSSD, the Christian Democrats (KDu-CSL) and ANO, the three potential government partners, should ask themselves whether this may not saw off the branch on which they are sitting, Honzejk writes.



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